Usman Khawaja.
Usman Khawaja.

Cricket Australia have selected two 14-player squads for the Australia ‘A’ tour to South Africa. The tour is scheduled to go underway in July where the both the teams will play two four-day matches and an ODI tri-series which will also involve India A.

According to the  Cricket Australia website, Australian batsman Usman Khawaja and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell will be captain and vice-captain of the four-day squad. South Australian batsman Travis Head will lead the one-day side during the tour. The team will depart for South Africa on July 8.

There were doubts about the tour due to the ongoing pay dispute between Cricket Australia and Australia Cricketer’s Association. Players had their concerns regarding the new revenue model and a conflict arose which remains unsolved as of now.

Both the squads have a great mix of experience and upcoming talents, especially in the four-day format. Khawaja and Maxwell have spent a good amount of time at the highest level and will be expected to carry the batting responsibilities.

Travis Head and Aston Agar will also be expected to deliver good performances as well. Seamer Jackson Bird is another very well– known Test star and will lead the bowling attack.

Rising names like Western Australia’s Hilton Cartwright, Cameron Bancroft and Jason Behrendorff along with Queensland leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson, South Australia’s Chadd Sayers and Victoria’s Chris Tremain will be the men under the spotlight after having a fruitful domestic season.

The ODI squad also looks fantastic in the presence Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, and Moises Henriques.

“We have opted for a well-balanced squad featuring some experience blended with younger players, with an emphasis on building our depth for the future,” said national selector, Trevor Hohns.

“Khawaja is a proven leader and has captained Australia ‘A’ before, he will gel nicely with Glenn who recently had some captaincy experience in the IPL and we believe will respond well to this extra responsibility,” said Hohns.

“Travis is a capable young leader and he will benefit from the opportunity at this level.

The selectors also assured that the performers will get the opportunity to place their names for a spot in the national team. It was also clarified that the senior players will be considered in the future regardless of the rejection this time.

“This is a great chance for these players to experience foreign conditions against quality international sides and really test their skills.

“With an upcoming Test Series in South Africa early next year it is also an opportunity to impress with their performances and put their names forward for consideration.”

“There were some senior players that missed out on an opportunity this time round but this will certainly not detract from their chances of representing Australia in the future.”

Aus ‘A’ four-day squad:

Usman Khawaja (captain), Glenn Maxwell (vice-captain), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft (wicket-keeper), Jason Behrendorff, Jackson Bird, Alex Carey, Hilton Cartwright, Travis Head, Kurtis Patterson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth

Aus ‘A’ one-day squad:

Travis Head (captain), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Hilton Cartwright, Sam Heazlett, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth

Australia ‘A’ tour of South Africa – Fixtures

Four-day matches

July 12 – July 15: Australia A v South Africa A at Tukkies
July 19 – July 22: Australia A v South Africa A at Senwes Park

One-day tri-series

July 26 – Australia A v India A at Tukkies
July 30 – Australia A v South Africa A at Groenkloof
August 1 – Australia A v India A at Tukkies
August 5 – Australia A v South Africa A at Tukkies
August 8 – Tri-Series Final at Tukkies.

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